On-Demand Moving With Dolly And The Gig Economy

When Chad Wittman decided to move to the Chicago suburbs, he was faced with the challenge of finding someone to move the contents of his small apartment. “In the end I said, ‘I’ll do it myself'” Dollys Co-founder and Vice President Chad Wittman told PYMNTS in an interview.

With that decision, Wittman charged his four-door sedan and hoped for the best on the freeway, but he thought there had to be a better way to do it, as ridesharing like Uber and Lyft came on the scene. He remembered thinking, there must be someone around the corner with a pickup who could do the job for $ 50. That thought led to an on-demand Dolly moving service.

When describing Dolly, Wittman said the company’s tagline was “Truck and Muscle Whenever You Need It,” but he said a lot of people simply refer to him as Uber for the move. The service essentially consists of gig workers in pickups moving bulky furniture from point A to point B. This is an alternative to making friends or renting a moving truck.

The sharing economy for moving

To use the service, consumers can access an iPhone app, an Android app, or a mobile version of the website. Dolly then asks for some important information, e.g. B. when and where a consumer moves before specifying a price in advance. This is an important feature, Wittman said, as he’s frustrated with traditional moving truck rental services that may incur additional costs. With its service, however, the price remains the same, even if there is little traffic or the movers are ready early.

Consumers on Dolly are matched against an independent contractor with background checking who is rated and verified. And when the moving companies pick up their items, consumers can track their moving companies on a map. This is an important feature as consumers want to have a feel for where their items are in the moving process. It’s also a key differentiator that sets Dolly apart from more traditional offerings: “They don’t offer that at all,” he said.

In addition to consumers looking to move items to a new home, Dolly has seen some interesting use cases for its products. Some consumers use its service to collect bulky items from their homes and have them delivered to a charity for donation. It may seem like a counter-intuitive concept, but consumers may have spent a lot of money on a couch. As a result, they might be willing to pay $ 20 to move it in for a donation. “You’d rather see someone take this [item] that they know there is value other than wasting it, ”said Wittman.

Additionally, he found that people have taken advantage of a labor-only offer to rearrange furniture. Some jobs were more unusual than others: a customer asks the company to move a harpsichord on a regular basis, for example. Overall, the service draws on what consumers would ask their friends to help with moving items.

Retail use cases for on-demand moving companies

For retailers, he sees Dolly as a delivery service. It can take a large retailer three weeks to get consumers a couch but don’t fix a delivery time until the evening before. You could then give a consumer a short delivery window, which happens to be the case when they are at work. While this can be a frustrating customer experience, Wittman said the inconvenience is understandable from a business perspective.

Retailers may have large trucks that they can use to send drivers to the warehouse to pick up items on their routes. However, if a job takes a long time, it can affect the rest of the jobs. But the couch? It’s sitting ready in the warehouse. As a result, retailers or customers can have Dolly pick up the couch and have it delivered at a convenient time. According to Wittman, “that’s how the customer wants it.”

When it comes to retailers, Wittman will work with everything from small mom and pop stores, small store fronts and a couple of couches to large retailers of big brands. He noted, however, that the views on delivery are for mom and pop stores: some may feel they have a head start on the delivery themselves, others may want someone else to manage the delivery because they see it as such A headache. This use case shows that on-demand moving services not only need to help consumers, but can also help retailers resolve their last mile delivery problems.

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